Author Topic: 24 Years Ago Today...  (Read 13511 times)

Offline joeyb747

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24 Years Ago Today...
« on: August 16, 2011, 07:53:11 PM »
...Northwest 255 crashed at KDTW shortly after takeoff. August 16, 1987. One passenger on the MD-82 (N312RC in Republic colors with Northwest titles) survived the crash. At that time she was only four years old, and was found alive in the wreckage. 154 passengers and crew perished. Additionally, two on the ground also perished when their vehicles were struck by the aircraft as it impacted the freeway overpass at I-94 and Middlebelt Road. It was later determined that the flaps and slats had not been set for takeoff and cited pilot error as the cause of the crash.

Wiki has a pretty good page on this crash:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Northwest_Airlines_Flight_255

See also:

http://planecrashinfo.com/1987/1987-44.htm

Also:

« Last Edit: August 16, 2011, 08:05:36 PM by joeyb747 »


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Offline notaperfectpilot

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Re: 24 Years Ago Today...
« Reply #1 on: August 16, 2011, 09:03:24 PM »
hmmm....interesting

Offline NoMad

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Re: 24 Years Ago Today...
« Reply #2 on: August 16, 2011, 09:28:34 PM »
I wonder if anyone here is familiar with the MD82 to suggest how this happened?

Contributing to the accident was the absence of electrical power to the airplane takeoff warning system which thus did not warn the flightcrew that the airplane was not configured properly for takeoff. The reason for the absence of electrical power could not be determined."

Offline derekjackson

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Re: 24 Years Ago Today...
« Reply #3 on: August 16, 2011, 09:50:37 PM »
Off the record, it was probably a pulled P40 circuit breaker - many pilots on previous flights had pulled these circuit breakers to avoid irritating warning alarms when taxiing on one engine (for example). However, it was never conclusively determined in this case that it was definitely the cause (due to crash damage to the panel). However, it does explain why there was no takeoff config alarm and why the stall warning sounded funny.

This is touched upon here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Northwest_Airlines_Flight_255

AND also an entire episode of Mayday focused on this crash and the controversies surrounding it.

Offline joeyb747

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Re: 24 Years Ago Today...
« Reply #4 on: August 17, 2011, 09:37:10 AM »
They go pretty heavy into the P40 circuit breaker in the Air Crash Investigation I linked to. On the MD-80, the P40 breaker handles the the Stall Warning and the Takeoff Warning. Pilots had been know to pull the P40 during taxi to prevent the Takeoff Warning from sounding during taxi.

Watch this part of the Air Crash Investigation:

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Offline NoMad

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Re: 24 Years Ago Today...
« Reply #5 on: August 17, 2011, 07:38:12 PM »
Watched the video last night after I asked the question.  Sadly, that is exactly what I figured was the case.

Offline mikenftsmith

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Re: 24 Years Ago Today...
« Reply #6 on: August 17, 2011, 08:33:35 PM »
Hey JoeyB another crash that has some similarities to the Northwest accident is Delta 1141 takeoff crash. The takeoff configuration system failed to alert the crew that the flaps and slats were not extended.  The NTSB report was an interesting read.

Offline TVNewsChopper

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Re: 24 Years Ago Today...
« Reply #7 on: August 17, 2011, 08:45:40 PM »
That is a day I will never forget...  I was 15, and I remember that accident like it was yesterday.  I still can't drive on Middlebelt road at I-94 without thinking about it.  You can still see damage to the train overpass, and see where the left wingtip sliced through the Avis car rental facility.  I always thought about that flight everytime I took off from Runway 3C.  Not reminded so much these days, since they changed the runway alignment to 4C.  I feel like this event is like my JFK moment...  (President, not airport).

Offline joeyb747

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Re: 24 Years Ago Today...
« Reply #8 on: August 18, 2011, 09:24:08 AM »
Hey JoeyB another crash that has some similarities to the Northwest accident is Delta 1141 takeoff crash. The takeoff configuration system failed to alert the crew that the flaps and slats were not extended.  The NTSB report was an interesting read.
Yes, they refference Delta 1141 in the video. Exact same circumstances, only Delta 1141 was a Boeng 727.
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Offline joeyb747

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Re: 24 Years Ago Today...
« Reply #9 on: August 18, 2011, 09:29:41 AM »
That is a day I will never forget...  I was 15, and I remember that accident like it was yesterday.  I still can't drive on Middlebelt road at I-94 without thinking about it.  You can still see damage to the train overpass, and see where the left wingtip sliced through the Avis car rental facility.  I always thought about that flight everytime I took off from Runway 3C.  Not reminded so much these days, since they changed the runway alignment to 4C.  I feel like this event is like my JFK moment...  (President, not airport).

Agreed. I was thru that area with my uncle a few days after it happened. Airplane parts still littered the area...it's an image that is perminatly burned into my mind. That's for sure. I young at the time, but it still impacted me pretty hard.
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Offline klkm

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Re: 24 Years Ago Today...
« Reply #10 on: August 18, 2011, 06:12:05 PM »
My dad was checking in for a flight at curbside when the guy checking his bags said man that aircraft is low, he turned back just in time to see the crash.  He walked in the terminal after that, turns out that was a mistake, as he was stuck there for hours.  They locked down the terminal and didnt let anyone leave for a while until they figured out what was going on.